Supreme Court Justices, Secretary Adams, Auditor Harmon Among Latest State Leaders to Receive COVID Vaccine

State leaders demonstrate bipartisan support for safe, effective vaccine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 28, 2020) – Secretary of State Michael Adams, Auditor Mike Harmon, Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes and Justice Samuel T. Wright III received the vaccination against COVID-19 on Monday in the Capitol Rotunda helping to ensure the continuity of state government and demonstrating bipartisan support for the safe, effective vaccine that is crucial to ending the pandemic and saving lives in Kentucky.

Justice Laurance B. VanMeter also received his vaccination last week. With Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. receiving his along with Gov. Andy Beshear a week ago, a majority of the Kentucky Supreme Court has now received the initial dose of the vaccination.

The Monday vaccinations follow the first vaccinations in Kentucky on Dec. 14, when the first round of hospitals began receiving and administering 38,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to front-line health care workers. On Dec. 21, long-term care facility residents and staff began receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through Walgreens and CVS, which have an agreement with the federal government. Last week, about 80 regional hospitals and more than 90 local health departments are receiving over 70,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to inoculate more health care workers.

“The purpose is to build confidence in the vaccine. If we truly want to defeat COVID, we need to vaccinate more than 70% of Kentucky’s population, and that requires validators who are willing to step up to take the vaccine to show that it’s safe,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is also important for continuity of government. These are the top elected officials under the Constitution, and it’s critical that they receive the vaccine to perform their functions.”

“Like Vice President Pence, Gov. Beshear, Senate President Stivers and House Speaker Osborne, I’ve taken the coronavirus vaccine in order to promote its safety and efficacy to my constituents,” said Secretary Adams. “Whether your politics are red or blue, this vaccine is for you, and I hope our example encourages Kentuckians to take the vaccine and defeat this virus for good.”

“I was offered and will gratefully receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s important to get people back to work and kids back to school, which is why we need to get the vaccine to everyone as soon as possible,” said Auditor Harmon. “Thank you to the scientists, medical professionals, UPS’s Louisville Worldport and President Trump for Operation Warp Speed.”

The leaders who have been vaccinated this month have emphasized the safety of the vaccine and encouraged other leaders to take the vaccine when it is their turn.

Amy Cubellis, an RN and school health nurse with the Franklin County Health Department, administered the vaccines Monday in the Capitol Rotunda.

Top federal and state health leaders, including U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, have encouraged governors and other public officials to publicly receive the vaccination to emphasize the safety of the vaccine and to build public support.

Dr. Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, urged state leaders to receive the vaccination for the continuity of state government and to demonstrate to Kentuckians that the vaccine is safe and effective.

Gov. Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear, Chief Justice Minton, House Speaker David Osborne, Senate President Robert Stivers, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Chief Judge Denise G. Clayton of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack, and J. Michael Brown, the highest appointed official in Kentucky as secretary of the executive cabinet, all received the initial dose of the vaccination against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) last week.

Acting Kentucky State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr., Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett, Gov. Beshear’s chief of staff, La Tasha Buckner, his senior advisor, Rocky Adkins, and Virginia Moore, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, also received their initial vaccination last week.

Gov. Beshear encouraged other community leaders including those in elected office, business executives and faith leaders, to take the vaccine when it is their turn. Meanwhile, until more people are vaccinated, the Governor said Kentuckians must continue to take precautions to slow the spread and save more Kentuckians from COVID, which has already killed more than 2,500 people in the commonwealth alone. People must continue wearing masks, social distance and avoid gatherings.

As of today, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered to more than 11,000 Kentuckians, predominantly health care workers. With both vaccines, a second dose is required about three weeks later. Gov. Beshear said Kentucky is expecting more than 202,000 doses of vaccine before the end of the month with the second dose coming for each about three to four weeks later.

Photos of today’s vaccinations can be found here and a photo of Justice VanMeter can be found here.